In case you missed it, BusinessWeek ran a story on 18 CEO’s who use twitter. Sun’s CEO, Jonathan Schwartz, was among the 18 — in addition to a couple of my favorite twitter users, Tony Hsieh, Zappos.com CEO, and Loic Lemur, Seesmic CEO.
Jonathan’s response to how Twitter helps him run Sun:
“Communication is a key part of leadership—as CEO, I need to engage the market, inside and outside Sun, with whatever technology affords me the greatest possible reach. Through blogs, online news, social networking sites, or Twitter, the Internet has fundamentally changed how we communicate with one another. Today, we have thousands of employees participating, engaging customers and developers across the world, 24 hours a day. And whether it’s via a half-hour streaming video or a 140-character Tweet, we need to reach everyone in the forum and format they choose—not what we choose.”
There’s obviously a style difference between how the the 18 CEO’s profiled leverage Twitter — some use it to emote, others use it to inform, and yet others use it as a combination of the two+. Jeremiah Owyang asks:
“@SunCEOBlog twitter account is so unpersonal, for a company that preaches being so open, this isn’t living the brand, agree or disagree?”
Jerimiah is one of the most interesting and informational Twitter users that I follow, but I had to disagree with him on this one:
“@jowyang -1 on this one. 🙂 @SunCEOBlog (not @SunCEO) simply tweets his new blog posts. His blog is his general communications channel.”
I think it would be odd and unnecessary to expect all/any fortune 500 CEOs to maintain multiple social media profiles while effectively driving the success of their companies. It’s also not necessary if they have at least one channel where they can hold open conversations and syndicate those conversations for ease of engagement — as is done by Jonathan using his blog for widely distributed conversations then having posts syndicated via Twitter.
Similar to Lee LeFever, thanks to Twitter, I use it as a combination of a chat, micro-blogging, and feed reading tool. The few feeds that are most important to me are fortunately syndicated on Twitter. So, I rarely check my full feed reader anymore.
Setting up a feed for syndication on Twitter, is super simple. Check out Twitterfeed for the details.